Friday, 19 August 2011


So, having survived my first week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, here are some insider tips and new found knowledge:

1. You're more likely to find a needle through a haystack than getting a cab during peak hours. However, you instantly regret it once you sit through the 2 and a half hour traffic jams! They don't call it 'Rush Hour' for nothing...

2. Every nation has their own favourite past-time. The Brazilians have football. The British enjoy drinking... For the Malaysians, it's eating. Anywhere, Any time and almost never at home. Here, they don't ask "How are you?" but "Have you eaten?"

Not that I'm complaining:

'Volcano' sushi rolls - an explosion in your mouth!

Chicken skewers with Satay sauce  

3. You can bribe/haggle you're way out of virtually anything. From cab fares, shopping trips to the market to passing your driving test, people here will turn a blind eye to pretty much anything with the right amount of Ringgit. What illegal U-turn, officer? 

4. On a further note from point 3: if you look like a foreigner, they'll treat you like one. Hence, the quoted 'tourist price' if they can away with it. No matter what you do, you always end up spending more when you're on holiday and some how, someone convinces you to fork out an extra RM250 for 'special hair treatment.' Which is 40 quid. I say enjoy it - along with market capitalism.

5. If you look white, mixed, or anything NOT local, prepare to get stared at. No, you don't have a third eye. Although there are many foreign students and expatriates,  a lot of people here are just naturally intrigued and curious.

6. Do you want to engage with the locals and leave your anticeptic double plastic-wrapped lifestyle behind? You can kiss toilet paper bye bye. Malaysians, or should I say Asians in general, don't believe paper is.... sufficient... Many toilets here, and I DO MEAN PUBLIC TOILETS, do not have toilet roll. But just a hose like thing to *khm* wash yourself. Because squatting over a pit toilet is more sanitary. Needless to say, I carry a pack of tissues with me every where I go.

7.  Due to the fact that most hereditary rulers lived a pampered and polygamous lifestyle, you will find a lot of Malaysians today are related to each other in some way, making even some of them royalty.

8. People here are so n-synced with the latest technology, you get iPads at your saloon!

9. Everyone here speaks English !!!

10. Everyone should be an intrepid adventurer ! Need I say more?

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